The terror attacks in London overshadowed the Trump Administration’s first strategy session of the global coalition to defeat ISIL.
British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson was at those talks when he got word of the terror attack outside parliament.
68 countries in Washington wanting to know what the new U.S. administration will bring to the fight against ISIL- they says it’s the priority.
“The degradation of ISIL is not the end goal. We must defeat ISIL. I recognize there are more pressing challenges in the Middle East, but defeating ISIL is the United States’ number one goal.” Said Rex Tillerson – U.S. Secretary of State
While the U.S. secretary of state pledged renewed resolve against ISIL, there was no pledge of more U.S. troops or money. In fact, Tillerson asked allies to do and pay more. He also said winning on the battlefield would need to be followed by stabilizing the region and winning the war of ideas.
But the battle is on-going- the fight for the northern Iraqi city of Mosul is in its fifth month – some Iraqi units have taken heavy casualties – civilians are dying in large numbers.
And as delegates from 68 nations meet here, many were keeping a close eye on the deadly terrorist attack in London- especially Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary and his U.S. counterpart.
The absence of Russia and Iran at this global coalition raises questions about how effective it can be on the ground especially in Syria – both nations have recently stepped up attacks against ISIL and have said they will be willing to help – but U.S./Russia relations remain complicated by allegations of election tampering and the Trump administration’s refusal to work with Iran on anything